There are four areas that make a professional video vs. amateur. And it’s no accident that you will find tradespeople building their careers around these disciplines.

First is camera operation.

This is the most obvious area. Besides having a properly exposed and in focus image it’s important to frame the image in creative ways. A good camera operator or Steadi-cam operator will know how to frame an image to make it more interesting and follow the action in a way the tells the story.

In addition to framing, an experienced camera operator will move the camera in a matter that helps tell the story. And many times it’s not just one person that’s moving the camera, it’s a team pushing a dolly and racking focus simultaneously.

Director of Photography Chris Mills sets up the shot during a recent commercial production

Director of Photography Chris Mills on set of commercial production

Second is lighting

Like an impressionistic painting, excellent lighting can tell the story through the expression of mood and drama. An example would be the low key lighting of Citizen Kane. Another example would be the deep shadows of the old film noir movies. A more modern example would be James Laxon’s Academy Award nominated work on Moonlight. His lighting made you feel the moonlight.

Third is sound

Sound is something you don’t actually see on the screen but has a profound effect on how you interpret it. Just imagine watching a silent movie. No one makes those any more for a reason. Even if there isn’t dialog there’s sound design and scoring have a tremendous impact. Both have a profound effect on how we experience cinema. Because sound is so critical to a successful production, we always have a professional location sound mixer on set.

Fourth is art.

Art is the broadest and includes the most varied professionals. This includes production design, props, costumes, set decoration, hair and makeup and acting. And the lead artist, the director. Basically anything the technicians are filming on is considered art.

Actor on set of video production having her make up touched up

Putting these four factors together to make a professional video and is what Directors and Producers do. We use passion guided by experience to source and direct the best people to bring a vision to life in front of a camera. Want to learn how we can make your next production the best possible, reach out to us today.